Bistro to Go is a restaurant that serves contemporary cross cultural comfort food. They offer cooking classes and catering services but most interestingly, they feature a different menu every day.
The restaurant opened in 2007 and is located at 415 East Ohio St. on Pittsburgh’s North side. Owner Nikki Heckman said that she had one thing in mind when she decided to open a restaurant, and that was to “create extraordinary experiences through food while building relationships within the community.”
When I walked into Bistro to Go, I immediately noticed the energetic atmosphere, with its vivacious décor and open kitchen.
I was greeted by warm and smiling staff as I approached the display case full of a wide array of cold salads and desserts. Nikki offered me a tour, and we walked thru an inviting alleyway patio full of sunshine, into a second kitchen that had additional seating.
It was there that I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Alfredo Russell, (yes that’s his real name lol) a soulful man from the Bahamas, whose style of cooking is Cajun and creole. He asked me if I liked spice as he whipped up his signature dishes, chicken Isabel and curried shrimp for me right then and there on the spot.
Bistro to Go offers a vast variety of food, even vegan selections.
I had the pleasure of tasting several things from the daily changing menu.
I started with a refreshing strawberry and candied pecan salad, with feta cheese, and red onions, accompanied by freshly baked yeast rolls that were flaky and slightly sweet. Then I was served Chef Alfredo’s signature dishes.
The curried shrimp definitely made me feel like I was in the islands. The shrimp were huge and perfectly cooked. They had just the right amount of spice. The chicken Isabel was tender, and spicy. Both were served over a bed of rice. I also had stuffed pork chops fresh out of the oven with mashed potatoes. They were moist, flavorful and juicy center cuts, just like grandma used to make.
By this time I was full, but I was intrigued by the vegetarian selection that they were offering; a black bean croquette with spicy ranch topped with Pico de Gallo, and let me tell you it was delicious! The croquette was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. I could taste green peppers and the spicy ranch and Pico was very complimentary. It was full of mouthwatering flavor, easily becoming my new favorite vegan dish.
Bottom Line, I give Bistro to go 4 stars for Atmosphere, 4 stars for Service, and 4 stars for Food
Key: Superlative 5 stars, Excellent 4 stars, Very Good 3 stars, Good 2 stars, Promising 1 star
As always, feel free to tweet me with any culinary questions @EliseTDC and for recipes, visit my website http://www.elisethedivachef.com/